New ice skating rink to be built

Two golf simulators were recently installed at Thumper Pond Resort in Ottertail. The simulators were instlaled near the pro shop and the hotel lobby.

By Chad Koenen

Publisher

Thumper Pond in Ottertail has long been considered an oasis of entertainment during the summer months. 

A vacant parking lot will be transformed into an ice skating this winter as part of a variety of new features at Thumper Pond.

There is the summer music on the patio, a water park, campground and one of the more popular golf courses in lakes country. That doesn’t even include the dining options and community events that take place at Thumper Pond each summer.

A few recent additions to the Ottertail resort and hotel will go long ways into transforming Thumper Pond from just a sought after summer destination to one that is a hub of activities all year long. One of the most noticeable additions is a pair of golf simulators that have been constructed in the pro shop and near the entrance of the hotel. 

“In the winter we are always looking for more amenities for the guests to do and now we have another,” said assistant general manager Dan Klegstad, who added the new owners of Thumper Pond wanted to try some new activities at the facility this year. 

Photos by Chad Koenen
A new golf simulator has been installed near the main entrance to the hotel at Thumper Pond. The area had previously been used as a waiting/lounge area.

The golf simulators are preloaded with approximately 30 of the most prestigious golf courses in the world. Thumper Pond will soon be added to that list of golf courses as next summer the golf course will be digitized and loaded into the golf simulator system. That means people could play Thumper Pond alongside classics like St. Andrews and Augusta National.

When golfers aren’t trying to hit a hole in one on one of the golf simulators, the new additions can also serve another purpose for local residents and guests at the hotel. The golf simulator near the hotel entrance can be transformed into a movie theatre, which means children and families can grab a blanket and sit on some of the turf at the golf simulator to watch a Disney classic as a family before heading to bed. 

Thumper Pond will have a number of two-person snowmobiles that will be available to rent by the day or half day this winter. Local residents, as well as those staying at the hotel, will be able to rent out the machines.

In addition to providing another amenity for guests at the hotel, Klegstad said Thumper Pond is planning to have a golf league this winter on the golf simulators, while also offer golf lessons and renting them out by hour for everything from parties to community gatherings. 

“(The hope is to) have it be something to bring people in and take advantage of some of our amenities,” said Klegstad.

The golf simulators can be rented by calling Thumper Pond, or going on its website, located at www.thumperpond.com.

While the golf simulators will keep patrons busy indoors, outside the sprawling facility will be several other winter activities to take advantage of this year. The facility recently purchased snow shoes, cross country skis and snowmobiles that local residents can rent out for the half day and full day.

Since many snowmobile trails crisscross the Ottertail area, Andrew Martinson said there are a number of options in Ottertail’s backyard as to where a local resident can go on a trail ride.

“We are a hub of trails right here,” he said.

Klegstad said the snowmobiles will allow local residents and guests at the hotel who may not have a snowmobile, or have theirs in the shop, to participate in one of the great Minnesota winter activities. He added that there aren’t many options within an hour of Ottertail where people could rent a snowmobile for a day.

“There really isn’t anyone close who rents out snowmobiles,” he said.

The two-person snowmobiles can be reserved on the Thumper Pond website. 

The cross country skis and snow shoes can be used both at Thumper Pond, or taken to one of the many cross country ski trails in Otter Tail County. 

As winter begins to take hold in the greater Ottertail area, another new addition will begin to get erected in the overflow parking lot at Thumper Pond. An Olympic size ice skating rink will be constructed this winter in the gravel parking lot at Thumper Pond and will be available to use for both guests and the community as a free winter activity for people of all ages. The ice skating rink was something that staff at Thumper Pond have been discussing for quite some time after several people in the community expressed a desire to have a hockey rink for everything from ice skating to hockey.

“We kept kicking it around and finally it made sense and we pulled the trigger,” said Klegstad.

Back inside the facility, a new massage therapist is beginning to offer spa treatment and massages at Thumper Pond. When the facility first opened a number of years ago there was a spa located in Thumper Pond, but that has long since closed. 

Klegstad said the new massage therapist has already been booked a number of times and has been a nice addition to the facility. 

The massage therapist works independently of Thumper Pond and appointments can be made by emailing spa@thumperpond.com.

Thumper Pond is located in the heart of Ottertail, just a short distance from the shores of Otter Tail Lake. For more information about reserving and pricing for everything from snowmobiles to the golf simulator and cross country skies, visit Thumper Pond online at www.thumperpond.com or call the facility at 367-2000.